The music of Igor Stravinsky, theory and analysis of tonal and atonal music, sketch studies, aesthetics, and meta-theory. His books include The Music of Igor Stravinsky (Yale University Press, 1983), Stravinsky and the Rite of Spring (University of California Press, 1987), and Music, Politics and the Academy (University of California Press, 1995), Stravinsky and The Rite of Spring won the Deems Taylor-ASCAP award in 1989 and the Outstanding Publication Award of the Society for Music Theory (SMT) in 1990. Articles on a variety of subjects ranging from Beethoven to Stravinsky and atonal music have appeared in the Journal of Music Theory, Music Analysis, Perspectives of New Music, and the Journal of Musicology.
Recent articles on Stravinsky include "Stravinsky, Adorno, and the Art of Displacement", Musical Quarterly 87, no.3 (2004), "Stravinsky, Les Noces, and the Prohibition Against Expressive Timing", Journal of Musicology 20, no.2 (2003), and "The Sound of Stravinsky", Music Theory Spectrum 25, no.1 (2003). "Will Stravinsky Survive Postmodernism?", Music Theory Spectrum 22, no.1 (2000), is a critical review of recent literature on Stravinsky. Other articles include "Metrical Displacement in Stravinsky", Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung 11 (1998), "Neoclassicism and Its Definitions", in James Baker, ed., Music Theory in Concept and Practice (U. of Rochester Press, 1997), and "What's in a Motive? Schoenberg and Schenker Reconsidered", Journal of Musicology 14, no.3 (1996).
Past lectures include "Stravinsky and His Critics", keynote address, Stravinsky Festival, SUNY-Fredonia, February, 2004, and "Continuity and Discontinuity in Stravinsky", keynote address, West Coast Conference, University of San Francisco, March, 2005. Professors van den Toorn and Hall served as co-organizers of the annual meeting of the West Coast Conference held at UCSB, April, 2004. Professor van den Toorn lectured and supervised seminars at the Mannes Institute in New York, June, 2005.